This is the first of three video tutorials on e-Portfolios. E-Portfolios as show in this video are personal websites generated from Google Sites. Here you may upload/attach a multitude of items including your resume, prior education, research experience, skills, projects, and contact information. In preparation for the workforce or further academic pursuits e-Portfolios are a great resource for organizing a cross-section of both your work and academic experiences while lending support for your resume with examples of your work. If you have further questions about ePortfolios feel free to contact the Center for Online and Distance Learning.
Firefox is UTC’s preferred browser for use with Blackboard. However, the most recent release of Firefox (23) may impact your viewing of YouTube videos and other media from within Blackboard.
Both Google Chrome and Firefox have implemented more secure browser settings, which will block certain media while browsing within a secure environment, such as Blackboard. However, this feature works similar to your browser’s pop-up blocker and is easy to “turn off” and unblock desired media in a course.
If you notice a missing YouTube video in your Blackboard course, look for a small shield icon to the left of the navigation bar (the website address) in Firefox or to the right in Chrome. Click on the shield and follow the prompts to unblock the missing material.
View videos for detailed instructions for allowing blocked content in Firefox or Chrome.
The Center for Online/Distance Learning has identified a handful of fall 2013 courses with errors resulting from a course copy of material from a previous semester. The identified error causes broken links to uploaded course materials for student users; links will not appear as broken for the instructor who completed the course copy operation.
Instructors with errors in their copied classes have been notified of the problem. This issue is intermittent and does not affect every copied course. However, to avoid the possibility of copy errors within your course, please refrain from using Course Copy to move course materials from one course to another. Instead use Export Course and Import Package to copy materials from one course into another for reuse. Additionally, uncheck the option to “Limit package to only files linked into the selected content areas.”
Students and faculty using the LockDown browser should be prompted to update to the latest version of the browser the next time they use Lockdown Browser. However, if you are not prompted to update please follow the instructions below to update manually.
Start the Respondus LockDown Browser application
Select “i” from the toolbar (Windows) or “About” (Mac)
Select “Check for Newer Version”
Follow the on-screen instructions to download and run the patch
If the “Check for New Version” doesn’t recognize the latest version, it’s because you are running a relatively old copy of LockDown Browser. The solution is to do a full reinstallation:
When students return this fall, they will be welcomed to the campus by a new and updated website. With this website reboot, UTC Online also taken the opportunity to reorganize and update its website to better optimize access for prospective students and support for current students and faculty. The new UTC Online can be found at www.utc.edu/utconline/.
The reorganization has been focused around the role of the user viewing the website and divided among current students, prospective students and instructors. The Current Students tab contains a welcome page with familiar links to other departments and resources that current students may need or find useful. There is also a section of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) which may help students solve common problems. All of UTC Online’ s Blackboard tutorials for students are available on the new student Blackboard support pages and are organized into categories that students are familiar with from the last UTC Online website. If students are still having problems, they can visit the Get Help section for more information and a link to Information Technology’s website.
The Prospective Students tab is geared a little more towards students who may be looking to attend UTC and take classes online. This section includes links for admissions, online fees, records, calendars and many more. There is also a list of technical needs and system requirements for students interested in taking online classes. Prospective students may want to take the short Are You Ready to Learn Online? quiz. There is also a list of FAQ’s and a list of Distance and Online programs currently offered at UTC.
The Instructor tab is to provide resources for instructors including, much like the Current Students tab, common and familiar links to other resources like Online and Distance policies, FERPA, and best practices. There are also FAQ’s, a Get Help section and a large collection of Blackboard tutorials familiar to faculty who were accustomed to the old site. Here, instructors will find the tutorials grouped in an easy to navigate way and should not have any problems finding what they need.
Finally, underneath the Blackboard tab, there is a list of UTC polices, a Get Help Guide, a list of Known Issues, the Blackboard maintenance schedule, Troubleshooting help and a Browser Check to make sure your system and software is ready to go.We hope that this new UTC Online will be an important resource for all parties looking for information from UTC Online or about Online and Distance Programs at UTC. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know.
The Center for Online and Distance Learning has been highly involved in developing policy for new online and distance program offerings and helping departments make those courses available. There is growing excitement for developing and offering these courses, but while developing, we need to consider many important things before UTC can offer its stamp of approval. One of the major considerations is student accountability when it comes to test taking.
A new product makes it possible to let a device and software serve as proctor for students and allows them to take those tests on their own time and from their home. This product is called Remote Proctor NOW (http://www.softwaresecure.com/solution/RemoteProctorNow.aspx?CSS&utm_source=EduBrief+%7C+March+26%2C+2013&utm_campaign=EduBrief+Newsletter+3.12.2013&utm_medium=email) and is developed by a company called Software Secure. This software and hardware package authenticates the test taker as the student by photo ID and by login credentials. Then, the student would take the exam through their LMS. During the exam, the webcam of the student’s computer is recorded with audio. The screen that the student is taking the test on is also recorded and linked with the audio. This way, any peaks in audio, such as someone coming into the room, a phone call, or a conversation, can be easily pinpointed so instructors and reviewers can go back to that moment and see what the student was doing at that time.
Finals are coming up and if you’re like me, you’re ready for it all to be over. However, it’s important to finish strong. This is why I feel it’s important to share with you some tips on how develop good study habits that was given to me by my mentor from undergraduate school.
Dr. Chris S. Dula, Associate Professor of Psychology at East Tennessee State University has given his talk on developing good study habits for undergraduate students for several years now. He finally decided to have one of his sessions recorded and created a PowerPoint from it.
Dr. Dula has always encouraged students to continue their education past the undergraduate level, and is the reason that I (and many others like me) have continued our education to the graduate level. I’d like to share with you his thoughts on how to succeed as a student.
The video is an hour long, but is well worth it. I have had the pleasure of viewing the presentation in person and again via YouTube. Even though I’m a graduate student, I still use all these techniques he described and his advice speaks volumes of how to become a successful student. If you take anything away from this blog entry, remember that time management is a critical part of being a student (particularly in a higher education environment). For any professors reading this, feel free to share any of the information provided in this blog.
While you head off for some fun in the sun this May the Center for Online and Distance Learning (CODL) will complete an update to the Blackboard system. From May 7-9, 2013 Blackboard will be unavailable to instructors and students, while the system is updated from Service Pack 6 to Service Pack 9.
Although this is a minor update (you probably won’t even notice a difference!) there are some new features that we are excited to share with you.
More efficient navigation from course to course: Jump from any location in one Blackboard course to the same location in another; great for grading multiple assignments across different courses.
Course templates based on teaching style: Create a course menu that suits your discussion focused teaching style with a click of a button. There are lots of styles to choose from and each can come with example course content to help guide course design. A word of caution about this tool, once selected, course styles cannot be easily removed or changed.
A new menu and access to more tools from any course content area: The “Add Interactive Tool” content area drop down menu is now simply called “Tools”. Additionally, a new menu called “Publisher Content” provides easy access to Blackboard supported publisher content, such as McGraw Hill and Wiley Plus.
Automatic re-grade: Update a test before, during, or after a test is deployed to students. Blackboard will automatically update all student submissions to reflect any changes. Yay!
Better tracking with new course reports: Two new instructor course reports have been added to Blackboard – Course Activity Overview and Student Overview for a Single Course.
A few more small changes which will hopefully improve your experience:
Negative point values for test questions
View Grade Center History by grading column
Percent ranges on rubrics
Select all option for course export, import, and copy – Yay! Fewer clicks!
Spring has sprung around the UTC campus and here in the Center for Online and Distance Learning (CODL or cod-le) we’re ready to get out and about around campus after our very busy hibernation.
First up on our spring agenda is UTC’s Research Day. Look for our fearless leader and director of CODL, Kim McCroskey, with the poster presentations. Kim and Dr. Karen Adsit have put together an informative poster presentation on Evidence-Based Best Practices for Online Learning.
The CODL poster presentation topics include:
Value in asynchronous collaboration
Excellence in facilitation
Creating useful spaces
Information presented during this session is useful to all instructors, whether you’re teaching online or not. Research shows that good practices in the virtual classroom improve traditional classroom teaching as well. So, stop by, say hello, and pick up some great tips on teaching in both the virtual and physical classroom.
In our world of changing and emerging technology, video has become an increasingly important part of learning. It is also becoming much easier to use video to teach because students have greater access to high speed internet. According to a study conducted by the Copyright Clearance Center in 2009 , partnering with New York University, 43% of faculty indicated that they would be using more video in their upcoming courses. Of that video content, 83% said it would be documentary type videos and 30% said they would be utilizing internet links for their students to view video. That’s just the start. More and more schools are building YouTube pages and the term MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) has become the topic of the day. Video will be and is changing the face of education most notably, according to faculty and instructional technology professionals, in two ways.
Mobile video is the way that most students will access video in the upcoming years. Not just by laptops, but smartphones, tablets and any other device that may be introduced in the near future. This ever increasing demand also is bringing rise to the BYOD or “bring your own device” movement where video and content is expected to work across multiple platforms. This is a huge challenge for system administrators, but it must be achieved.
Another way video is affecting the classroom is by flipping it on its end. The “flipped classroom” is a method where students view video and are introduced to new material prior to discussing it in class. In this model, the video presents concepts the day before class and class time is used for practice and application. This technique optimizes precious class time so students can benefit from more hands-on learning and student interaction.
Do you use video in your online or face-to-face classes? Do you plan on using it in the future?